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 Osip Braz

Born:   January 16, 1873
Deceased:   November 6, 1936

Renowned portraitist, painter, etcher, and lithographer.


Osip Braz was born in Odessa. After finishing classical school he entered an art school in 1889 and studied under K. K. Kostandi. He continued his education at Simon Hollósy school, and the Munich Academy of Arts in Munich from 1891to 1894. Afterwards he lived in France. It was at the Champ de Mars exhibition in Paris, where his works were displayed for the first time. Later the artist moved to Holland, where he studied contemporary European art and creativity by Dutch artists. Upon returning to Russia he studied in Ilya Repin’s studio at the Petersburg Academy of Arts.

In 1896 Osip Braz won awards of the Moscow Society of Art Lovers and got diploma of the Petersburg Academy of Arts. His portraits of the artists D. N. Kardovsky and E. M. Martynova were highly appreciated by critics, and the latter portrait was purchased by P. M. Tretyakov for the Tretyakov Gallery. Later the famous art collector ordered him portraits of Vera Komissarzhevskaya and Anton Chekhov

Osip Braz participated in exhibitions of the Southern Russian Artists Association (1893 — 1917), the Moscow Society of Art Lovers (1896 — 1899), and the 36 Artists group in Moscow. He created a range of artists’ portraits.
Osip Braz was also into graphic art, lithography, and etching. In spite of the fact that the artist carried out lots of orders, he found time for teaching as well: Osip Braz taught in his own studio in 1900 — 1905, and at the Drawing School of Society for Encouragement of Artists in 1902 — 1904.  Brilliant and famous Zinaida Serebryakova was one of his students. 
From 1900 the artist regularly participated in exhibitions of the World of Art group, and was its treasurer. In 1903 — 1910 he was a full-fledged member of the Union of Russian Artists.
In 1907 — 1911the artist lived in France. Osip Braz was elected the academician of the Academy of Arts in 1914.
Osip Braz was a member of the committee on restoration of paintings from the Hermitage Museum in 1916, and the custodian of the Dutch painting department in the Hermitage from 1918 to 1924.
In the 1920s he taught in VKhUTEIN.
In 1924 Osip Braz was arrested on false charges of espionage and buying paintings for selling them abroad, and was imprisoned in the Solovki Gulag camp. The artist was released in 1926 thanks to petition by Leningrad art associations; afterwards he was in exile in Novgorod, where he was engaged in restoration of monuments for the regional museum. In 1928 he immigrated to Germany, and then moved to Paris, where he painted and traded in antiques. The year 1930 saw his personal exhibition in Paris.
All his family members suffered from severe tuberculosis. After losing his wife Lola Lantsgof and both sons, he spent the last year of his life alone. Osip Braz passed away on November 6, 1936 and was laid down to rest at the Bagneux Cemetery in Paris.

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